We’ve all heard relationship advice, “don’t bring your work home,” but it’s virtually impossible to do. Even if you aren’t literally bringing home spreadsheets and profit and loss graphs, what goes on at work affects your home life. If you had a good day at work, you’re more likely to be in a good mood when you get home. If you’re stressed out about an upcoming presentation, you may inadvertently take it out on your spouse. And of course, there are literally times where you have to do work at home because of work overload or an impending deadline, and this can put strain on your responsibilities at home.

Relationship Advice for Keeping Your Relationship Happy If Your Work Life Isn’t

In Houston marriage counseling, I work with people to help them recognize how their mood at home can be impacted by what’s going on at work. It’s totally natural, but it can be beneficial to recognize that what you’re really upset about isn’t your partner, it’s your boss or your co-worker or a client. My relationship advice for this scenario is to take a step back from the situation, take a few deep breaths, and apologize for your behavior.

And of course, there’s the other side of this, if your partner is coming home stressed from work, you can learn to be more patient and understanding. One of the best ways you can help your partner get through this is to check in every day. How was work? Your spouse may not always want to talk about it, but you can be there to listen if he or she needs to vent, and often, even if your partner doesn’t want to share much, you’ll have some insight into their mood.

If you find that your job is putting undue stress on your relationship, you may want to consider a job change. It may make things tougher for a while as you focus on the job hunt every day after work, but get your partner on board. Your goal is to be happier in your work life, so you can be more pleasant to be around afterwards. You can work together toward finding you a new job.

If you need further relationship advice for keeping the emotions that you bring home from work from putting a strain on your marriage, I encourage you to give me a call for Houston marriage counseling.

As a Houston marriage counselor, I’ve seen many couples deal with the aftermath of an affair. It’s usually the toughest challenge of their relationship. Rebuilding trust and reconnecting takes a lot of time, hard work, and patience on the part of both partners. That’s why I counsel other clients who have relationship problems but have not experienced infidelity on how to avoid having an affair. When times are tough, sometimes we can be tempted to go elsewhere for a connection, but this will just make things harder.

One of the most common places that infidelity occurs is in the workplace. You spend at least 8 hours a day with these people. You share common experiences that bond you together. You already have a connection to your co-workers, so taking it to the next level can be tempting if you’re not careful. But it’s not inevitable. Here are a few tips from this experienced Houston marriage counselor on preventing an office affair.

Houston Marriage Counselor’s Tips for Avoiding an Office Affair

Don’t flirt. Some offices have a lax environment where people joke and tease each other. That’s great, and can contribute to a really wonderful work environment. But make sure that these jokes stay away from flirtation. Even if you’re joking, it can be the first step toward an affair.

Don’t get drunk. Many people make it a tradition to go out after work for a beer or a glass of wine. Maybe it’s to celebrate a big accomplishment or just the fact that you made it through another week. Whatever the reason, make sure that you keep things under control. A good rule is to limit yourself to just one drink. Remember, alcohol lowers your inhibition, so even if you don’t think it would lead to anything, it’s better safe than sorry.

Keep your personal life at home. Don’t share details about your relationship at work, and don’t become a confidant for someone else’s relationship problems. Not only is it unprofessional, but this type of bonding sometimes leads to infidelity. If you need to talk to someone, consider confiding in a Houston marriage counselor.

Don’t have a “work spouse.” Many people have someone at work that they turn to for support when they need it. This can be a life-saver on particularly stressful days. But avoid having this friend be a member of the opposite sex. When times get tough at home, often people turn to the sympathetic shoulder they have at work, and this can lead to infidelity.

Don’t meet alone with a member of the opposite sex outside of work. If it’s for professional purposes, no problem! Otherwise, decline the invitation or see if someone else can come along.

If you feel tempted to have an office affair or are coping with the aftermath of infidelity, it can help to have professional support. Call my offices to talk to a qualified Houston marriage counselor.

You have relationship problems, and you’re ready to work them through in Houston marriage counseling and relationship counseling. Only one problem… your partner isn’t. Maybe he is in denial that you have problems. Or perhaps she just doesn’t “believe” in counseling. Whatever the issue, many people find that they have a partner who is reluctant to seek professional help, even though the marriage may be in dire need of it.

Here are a few tips for talking to a reluctant partner about going to Houston marriage counseling:

Talk about yourself. If you put the focus on your partner and the issues you want him or her to work through, it can put them on the defensive. Instead, discuss the things you want to work on in counseling for yourself and explain that you think both of you can benefit from learning to communicate better. The key is to INVITE with something that sounds like this, “I need help in learning how to become a better partner for you.  I think that any relationship specialist would also need you in the room in order to help me.  I hope you’ll consider helping me by going with me, so I can become a better lover to you.”

Ask your partner to give it a try. Don’t ask for a commitment to ongoing therapy upfront.  Instead, say you want to your partner to go to one session and see how it goes from there. If Houston marriage counseling seems like the right fit, then you can continue going.

Make it clear that you don’t want to separate. Often, people assume that therapy is the first step on the road to a divorce. Even if your spouse hasn’t brought it up, it may be in the back of his or her mind, so address it. Explain that you want to strengthen your relationship, not dissolve it.

Don’t make it an ultimatum. This can just lead to a fight and further exacerbate relationship problems. This can also feel like a “power move,” and some people will react by saying no, just to feel in control again. Use a very soft voice, eyes, and face with your invitation(s) to join you at the counselor’s office, give them space to think, but also be persistent and keep coming back every so often.   “Kindness + Persistence in Inviting” are keys to success.

Talk to a counselor yourself. Maybe you’ve tried bringing it up and failed. Or you’re simply afraid to bring up the subject. Talk to a professional and get his or her advice on the matter.

Remember to keep it positive. Focus on your desire to have a happy, healthy, and successful relationship together and how you think this can be achieved through Houston marriage counseling.

As a Houston marriage counselor, one piece of relationship advice I offer my clients is to embrace the power of the compliment. Everyone needs to feel attractive, appreciated, and needed. In the beginning of a relationship, we usually make a point to compliment our partners, letting them know when they look good or made a nice meal. But over time, we forget to let the other person know what we value about them, and it can start to make you feel taken for granted.

But it can be easy to overcome this – get back to those compliments! Here are a few to get you thinking about all the ways that you appreciate your partner.

You look great. The next time your significant other gets dressed up for an event, take a moment to appreciate him or her. Or just any day that your spouse is looking their best!

You did a great job with… When your significant other does work around the house, let him or her know that the result was amazing!

That meal was delicious. Does one spouse do all the cooking? It may have become such a routine part of your day that you forget to let your partner know that it was yummy.

I love it when you… When you’re having sex or just being intimate, there are likely things that your partner does that you love. Let him or her know!

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Be creative, and stay aware of all the ways that your spouse makes your life richer! Don’t stop catching your partner “doing something ‘right’” and letting them hear about it from you.  We all need to be appreciated, and this human need is one that requires frequent satisfaction.  Research shows that 5 appreciations are required by the human brain to offset 1 criticism of a committed love partner. If you need further relationship advice, give my offices a call to talk to a qualified Houston marriage counselor.